Cyber Defense

Air Force plans major program to defend against avionics hacks

Air Force researchers are preparing to invest up to $49.7 million in a new program to protect its aircraft against cyberattacks.

The Air Force Research Lab has issues a presolicitation notice saying it wants to develop an embedded platform to protect avionics systems in the contested cyber domain. The proposal covers manned and unmanned vehicles, on-board ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) systems, munitions, and any other piece of equipment or subsystem that could be exploited to compromise a mission.

The Avionics Vulnerability Assessment Mitigation and Protection, or AVAMP, will take a comprehensive approach, looking for new and emerging technologies that address physical, remote and supply chain attack vectors, according to the notice. AVAMP will support research and development in areas including the characterization and mitigation of avionics cyber vulnerabilities, automated software analysis and assurance, real-time threat detection, reverse-engineering of attacks, dynamic learning and adaptation, and cyber-resilient avionics systems.

The potential for cyber vulnerabilities in aircraft and avionics systems has been a growing concern in recent years, as aircraft have become more reliant on technology and systems of all kinds are integrated with one another. With AVAMP, the Air Force is aiming to protect against attacks across the board, weather through cyberattacks via communications systems, sensors and other components, or via counterfeit hardware introduced somewhere in the supply chain.

The Air Force said it will issue a request for proposals by the end of June and expects to award at least two contracts totaling $49.7 million for AVAMP in November.

Defense Systems Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.